"Carrying the Sea and the Sky" -- 108 lines,
minor_architect also wanted to see something about the sandwich generation, so I went with that. It also got me thinking about the destruction of Shaunaka in "The Janardanakavita," how refugees are often flung together with little regard for family ties. Here, then, is the free-verse poem "Carrying the Sea and the Sky," in which one almost-able-bodied man does what he can to care for two old men and two little girls, only one of whom is actually related to him.
Adhiratha had carried the others
out of the ruins of Shaunaka,
the beautiful city built into the cliff.
He had carried them in a cart,
and he pulled a cart because he could not fly,
because his pearl-feathered wings
were broken long ago, and this was the first time
he had truly felt grateful for the damn cart.
"The Chant of the Return of Sebak" -- 168 lines,
You asked for a mature dragon. I give you "The Chant of the Return of Sebak," which is written in tercets, not rhymed, but with ABB forked parallels. This is a sequel of sorts to "The Janardanakavita," in which the Shu consul goes home only to have his city sacked by another dragon not long after his arrival. This also introduces the Eofor and the Hachi people, and a very little bit about the Beneberak.
Jehuti the City of Trees I praise:
trees rooted in the rich depth of the earth,
trees lifted in the wide height of the sky.
All around the City of Trees lay the food forests of the Shu,
spread out like the hems of embroidered robes,
fanned out like the channels of a river delta.
"Conquests and Competitions" -- 100 lines,
When and when not to let young folks take over played into a Steamsmith poem about Old Henry. In "Conquests and Competitions" he finally manages to produce a square smoke ring -- and that gets some of the younger alchemists in a competitive mood too.
Maryam Smith was sitting in the lounge
of the Steamsmith Guild
when Old Henry finally succeeded
in blowing a square smoke ring.
He hastened to write down the settings
on his pipe that had produced it.
"The Course the War Has Taken" -- 54 lines,
Your prompt about elder knights paired with some by Chordatesrock about paladins, leading to the free-verse poem "The Course the War Has Taken" in Path of the Paladins. Ari listens to the elders, and muses about the past, and wonders about the future.
"The Fountain of Age" -- 35 lines,
From your quest prompt came the poem "The Fountain of Age," a cautionary tale about trying to assume wisdom before one is ready. It's written in unrhymed quintains.
"Guarding the Change" -- 110 lines,
Your prompt about Maryam's father spawned the free-verse poem "Guarding the Change." John and Maryam take a tour of the holdings in Warwickshire, now that it's Maryam serving as Baron Carrington substantial. It's a not-entirely-leisurely trip through some beautiful territory.
Easter brought a break in the London Season,
when the lords and ladies customarily travelled
to their country houses for the holiday.
The Carrington holdings were spread across
England and Ireland, not to mention
the fine display of Wycombe Abbey
where John Smith generally lived
and where his daughter Maryam had grown up.
"The Importance of These Two Things" -- 37 lines, $15 (Hart's Farm)
Based on your prompt about Hart's Farm elders, I wrote the free-verse poem "The Importance of These Two Things." Svanhilda and Esja get into an argument over the property line between their gardens. Ola is not best pleased by this.
"Jumbo Shrimp and Other Oxymorons" -- 35 lines,
From the massage parlour prompt, I got the free-verse poem "Jumbo Shrimp and Other Oxymorons," about mature adults and senior citizens who don't seem to behave in concert with conventional expectations of mature or citizens. Interestingly, although this could apply just fine to modern times ... it also neatly matches the beginning of the Conservancy in my main science fiction setting.
"Knitwise" -- 34 lines,
From your prompt about Glenta I got the free-verse poem "Knitwise." It's a list of ten kinds of things that she and the guys knit, with comments on each.
"The Last Rose of Winter" -- 160 lines, $80
The May-December romance emerged as a free-verse poem, "The Last Rose of Winter." It's a very bittersweet tale about a very odd couple, and nobody really understands why they fit together so well except for Deshawn and Eloise themselves. They are there for each other when nobody else is, in ways that nobody else is; and whatever else it isn't, that is what love is really about.
Everything about it was wrong
except for the fact that they loved each other.
That was what people said,
except for the part about admitting
that they loved each other and that was all right.
Only Deshawn and Eloise focused on that part.
"The Silver Horde" -- 33 lines,
I turned this prompt into the title, "The Silver Horde," and yes it's written in haiku verses. Read about what might have happened if Genghis Khan had not been murdered, and kept control of the army for quite a lot longer.
"Things That Get Better With Age" -- 10 lines, $5 SOLD
From your prompt about cultured foods, I got the poem "Things That Get Better With Age" ... antiques, cheese, scrapbooks, wine, and people. It's written in couplets.
"Time, Space, and Distance" -- 36 lines,
Stephen Laird left me a prompt backchannel, pointing to a lovely video about the galaxy. The result is "Time, Space, and Distance," a poem about An Army of One describing some wonders of galactic dynamics and why war is stupid. This is a bit tangential to the theme, but Estelle isn't very young, so I figure it's close enough.
"Transplating Gramps" -- 45 lines,
An early prompt from Dreamwidth user Chordatesrock inspired the free-verse poem "Transplanting Gramps," which explores why an elderly man would choose to move to the Lacuna when he has little in common with the folks who already live there.
"Why Old Women Fall in Love with Linguists" -- 102 lines,
Several, including young folks taking over, contributed to the poem "Why Old Women Fall in Love with Linguists." These ideas were kicking around in my mind when my_partner_doug read me excerpts from a Smithsonian article over supper. So I put it all together in a free-verse poem about dying languages and the people who work to record examples from them.
(This price only counts the lines that I wrote myself, and not the excerpts from the article that I also included.)
A dozen years from now,
or a hundred, nobody will know
what they were saying
in the language they lived all their lives.
The old women know this.